Over the decades, plenty of screen time has been dedicated to imagining dystopian futures in which a tiny elite mercilessly oppresses a beleaguered majority – but what if everyone got a fair shot at entering the proverbial land of milk and honey? What if entering society’s most rarified class was more akin to say, a college application? These are the questions that Netflix’s upcoming original series 3% seems to be asking, which in turn invites some pointed reflection on the power dynamics behind our supposedly meritocratic institutions.
The upcoming series, based on a wildly successful 2011 web series from São Paulo production company Boutique Films, imagines a post-apocalyptic Brazil deprived of basic resources save for an abundant utopia known as Mar Alto. Only 3% of the population is allowed to live in the gated oasis, but every citizen has the chance to apply for selection at age 20. According to newly released information, 3% will follow a number of characters of differing backgrounds and perspectives as they go through the so-called Process, while also exploring the intrigue that goes on behind the closed doors within the selection committee.
With Oscar-nominated Brazilian cinematographer Cesar Charlone (City of God) on board as director, 3% promises to be a unique and refreshing spin on the old post-apocalyptic thriller that asks some pretty salient questions about the nature of our democratic institutions.
‘3%’ premieres November 25, 2016 on Netflix.